Humanity is close to destruction, a group of scientists said, adding that coronovirus epidemics, coupled with increasing threats from climate change and nuclear weapons, are pushing civilization closer to a human-induced apocalypse.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced on Wednesday that its symbolic Doomsday Clock remained from 100 seconds to midnight, at the same time it was set to be at least a year. Although the clock hands are unchanged since 2020, the setting is the closest closest clock to symbolic doom in more than 70 years of its existence.
The clock does not act as a predictor of disaster, but rather represents humanity’s perceived proximity to the cause of a human-caused disaster. The Bulletin has maintained the Doomsday Clock since 1947, and has become a stark visual metaphor since its introduction during the Cold War, when the clock’s hands were set from seven minutes to midnight.
Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, said the coronovirus epidemic has served as a “historic wakeup call” and one has revealed how unprepared many governments and international organizations are for handling complex and dangerous challenges. Huh.
“We believe in the bulletin that because humans pose these threats, we can control them,” Bronson said in a news briefing on Wednesday. “But it is not easy to do and has never happened. It requires serious work and global engagement at all levels of society.”
Last year’s update, which came before Coronovirus spread to every continent in the world, set the Doomsday Clock from 100 seconds to midnight. At the time, it was the closest clock ever to a symbolic doom. Now, scientists in the Bulletin say they have adjusted the clock to reflect the consequences of the still-raging epidemic and emerging threats from climate change, nuclear weapons and disruptive technologies.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, founded in 1945, is a non-profit organization that investigates global security issues related to science and technology. Each year, the group agrees with the board of sponsors to analyze the world’s most pressing threats to determine where the Doomsday Clock’s hands should be set.